Mortar shell lands near Chinese embassy in Syria

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 September, 2013, 7:05pm
UPDATED : Monday, 30 September, 2013, 7:57pm

Syria’s state-run news agency said three mortar shells hit the capital, Damascus, on Monday, with one of them landing near the Chinese embassy.

A reporter at the scene said the shell fell about 100 metres from the embassy, setting two cars on fire and damaging others.

The location was also close to the American Cultural Centre, which has been closed for two years.

Monday’s shelling came days after shells hit the Iraqi and Russian missions in central Damascus.

On Thursday, a mortar shell slammed into the Iraqi consulate building, killing an Iraqi woman and wounding three. Days before, rebels fired mortars that landed on the grounds of the Russian embassy, wounding three workers.

The governments of China, Russia and Iraq are strong backers of President Bashar Assad’s government.

Also on Monday, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced that China would be involved in a peace conference on Syria due in Geneva in November.

The US-Russia peace initiative, dubbed Geneva 2, would involve all five permanent members of the UN Security Council, Fabius said.

Additional reporting by Agence France Presse.